Ford Motor Co. announced it is acquiring Sperry New Holland, the world's largest manufacturer of specialized farm equipment, from Sperry Corp.

Chairman Donald Petersen said Thursday the transaction is "consistent with our efforts to continue to improve Ford's worldwide tractor and farm equipment business."

Petersen said Ford is paying about $300 million for the Sperry New Holland agricultural equipment business, including worldwide assets, wholesale receivables, facilities in 10 countries and New Holland trademarks.

Ford also will assume an estimated $110 million in liabilities, Petersen said. The final purchase price will be adjusted at closing, and the transaction is subject to obtaining the necessary government clearances.

With the acquisition of Sperry New Holland, Ford's tractor and farm equipment business will have combined annual sales of more than $2 billion, 18,000 employes and sales outlets in more than 100 countries.

In New York, Sperry said the sale will result in an estimated after-tax loss on the disposal of discontinued operations of $220 million, or $3.86 per share, which will be reported in the corporation's results for the second quarter.

New Holland is the world's largest manufacturer of specialty farm equipment, with 9,600 employes and revenue of $715 million in the fiscal year ended March 31. Sperry acquired New Holland in 1947.